Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils held off John Calipari’s defending national champion Wildcats 75-68 in the first matchup between Duke and Kentucky since 2001. Photo by Clay Tuten.
|Michigan State fans had reason to celebrate with their win over Kansas.|
Michigan State was supposed to be tired tonight, after their world tour that saw them go from Germany to East Lansing and to Atlanta in less than a week. But the Spartans didn’t show any fatigue—not when it counted anyway. Led by an attacking Keith Appling, who scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, the Spartans held off No. 7 Kansas 67-64 in Game 1 of the State Farm Champions Classic. Speaking with Andy Katz after the game, a hoarse-sounding Tom Izzo was all smiles. “It’s been a long week. I don’t think we played great tonight, but we played with more passion. We showed that this team has potential—we just have to keep getting better.” In the nightcap, a steady dose of Seth Curry (23 points) and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch enabled Duke to hold off Kentucky 75-68, their first meeting in 11 years. MORE